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  • Eutrophication

What Is Eutrophication?

Eutrophication is the process by which dissolved oxygen levels degrade in water. It happens when large amounts of nutrients and organic matter come from natural or human sources with a higher proportion than usual. This can cause algae to grow excessively, kill beneficial organisms like fish, and create an environment where weeds thrive while other species cannot survive.
The process of eutrophication is a vicious cycle that can create irreversible damage if left unchecked. When algae and weeds die, they release organic matter, which uses up the oxygen in the water as it decomposes, making an environment toxic to fish and humans who depend on clean drinking water downstream. This decomposed biomass becomes a nutrient stockpile, fueling even more growth within this already dangerous ecosystem.
The adverse effects are worsened by increased levels of muck and bad odors from rotting plants mixed with dead animals - all while blue-green algae flourish beneath them!

Eutrophication is causing a significant ecological and economic threat to many areas worldwide, including giant water bodies such as rivers. Eutrophic organisms take up oxygen from surrounding waters to breathe, leading to mass fish die-offs that damage fishing industries around the globe. The process of eutrophication also increases toxins like mercury which can lead humans who consume contaminated seafood to severe health issues. Eutrophication affects water bodies as small as a 100 square foot pond to the Gulf of Mexico. Many vitally essential water resources across the world are impacted by varying degrees of eutrophication.

What Causes Eutrophication?

Runoff from farmlands and urban areas contaminated with sewage, fertilizer runoff, and excessive animal waste that includes phosphorus and nitrogen compounds can lead to an influx of nutrients. These fertilizers are vital for plant growth, but it creates eutrophication when they wash into the water supply. In this process, too many nutrients in one area lead to high concentrations of an algae bloom, which ends up suffocating fish populations by robbing them of oxygen.

Algae and cyanobacteria have a short lifespan, typically only lasting for days. When they die, their bodies fall to the bottom of lakes where they decompose, taking up oxygen from the water while creating nutrient-rich sediment that leads back into more algae growth which increases weeds' nutrients in this feedback loop until there is no longer any space or breathable air at all on the lake's floor.
The process of eutrophication is countered by natural mitigating factors such as beneficial phytoplankton bacteria in the water column that produce oxygen through photosynthesis. Some oxygen escapes into the atmosphere. While this is helpful, it isn't enough to keep up with decomposing biomass, which creates a lack of dissolved oxygen (hypoxia), causing death among important organisms like crustaceans, fish, and other members of food chains. This has resulted in 90% or more reductions for these creatures because many die from hypoxic conditions caused by reduced dissolved oxygen levels. This may happen suddenly, which is an event known as a "fish kill."

Reversing Eutrophication

The key to reversing the process is to approach the entire ecosystem holistically. Solutions that address less than all six of these environmental problems will fall short of their goal. EWR's approach is to stimulate natural processes through mechanical intervention and bio-augmentation, with an essential first step being oxygenating water for aerobic digestion of organic matter, including algae itself can take place across a more even distribution of dissolved oxygen levels overall, building healthier conditions from within as nature would do so herself if given half a chance.

The second piece of the puzzle is high levels of nutrients. Higher oxygen levels are a partial solution to excess nutrients. Still, Environmental Waterway Restoration takes it one step further with unique biological and natural products that reduce nutrient overloads by feeding essential microbes responsible for degrading organic matter.
Nutrient sponge, enzyme solutions, and mineral nutrients all contribute to rapid reduction in overgrowth caused by too many unwanted organisms--a problem which leads directly back into this puzzling cycle as an abundance of organics contributes both to higher oxygen rates (which can only do so much) AND provides more food sources for hungry microorganisms!

By performing rigorous evaluations of the health of a lake's ailment, EWR engineers systems, and product application programs that fundamentally alter the lake's biology and return it to a natural balance.

Environmental Waterway Restoration has been a trusted adviser to communities for 25 years. They can meet the needs of their customers by providing solutions that turn lakes from murky, unappealing waterholes into places where you can swim and fish with ease, thanks in part due to our dedication to work and long history.

Let EWR Clean your Lake or Pond Naturally And Reverse the Effects of Eutrophication

EWR is an organization dedicated solely to reversing the damage caused by eutrophication on recreational lakes throughout Florida for more than a quarter of a century - we've successfully turned many former eyesores back into thriving ecosystems with good fishing spots, clear waters, increased depth capabilities among other things that have made lives better for our clients!
Environmental Waterway Restoration
EWR is a family-owned Florida based company that has been providing quality solutions for water environments since they were founded.

EWR is a family-owned Florida based company that has been providing quality solutions for water environments since they were founded.
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